KATHMANDU: Bigger, broader and better’ would be the best term to sum up the new Swift. These increased benefits result in improved cabin space, more knee room for rear passengers, posh interiors and a whole generational change. The instrumentation has been refreshingly upgraded. The dashboard quality is a step up with better fit and overall finish. Actually, the interiors are almost all new — from the steering wheel to the centre console and instrument panel. The multi-info display which shows you temperature, time, fuel efficiency and distance at a glance is worth mentioning. On the outside, the new Swift does command attention with its sporty macho look. Aerodynamic lines that are more fluid and stylish make it a distinct presence on the streets. The headlights are larger and extend further back, while the grille is bigger. The antenna has been pushed behind from the front and the bigger rear bumper is more pronounced and overall provides the car with more charisma.
After making it clear that this was supposed to be a ‘test drive’ and not a ‘test ride’ with those who had come with the Swift VXI to pick me up from my office, I was finally in the driver’s seat. However, initially, I was taken for a ride through the city in the rear passenger seat. While there is ample leg room, I just could not help feel a bit claustrophobic
because of the small windows and perhaps insufficient effect of the air conditioning. In the driver’s seat, it is a wholly different experience. The seat itself is nice and firm with a commanding view, and the vehicle handles itself well even at high speeds and sharp bends. Pick up is powerful enough and the Swift is now sport-ier to drive and loves to be revved. The engine is smooth and soundless in the cabin. However, perhaps because of over inflated tyres, the bumps were felt and the thuds very audible.
In all fairness, the new Swift is a whole new gene-ration car fully loaded with the latest premium features and thoughtfully deserved comforts. Equipped with the latest technology and safety features, it is a mean machine that packs power and versatility. The all new Swift is also very important for the Maruti Suzuki brand, as it carries many expect-ations in a highly comp-etitive segment. The Swift will have a tough road ahead emerging as a leader with competitors like the Fabia, Punto, Hyundai i20 and others that also pack a solid punch in the ring when it comes to price, features and performance.
There is no doubt that the Swift will fuel your passion, but one hopes that it could fuel the passion of its authorised dealer in Nepal as much. Sending the lowest variant without even music system and other frills that can impress on a test drive does not show much passion. But then again, till test drive reviews are taken more passionately by the industry, embarrassing events will rule. Various other brands have also sent a car for a test drive review without petrol when petrol pumps were shut and quite a few have even sent vehicles that must be back ‘within one hour’. These test vehicles must surely be in demand but when it comes to making an impress-ion, sometimes making the wrong kind is not the fuel that will carry a new launch forward.